The controls (on the Xbox version) ruined the game for me. Way over complicated, And the gameplay just wasn't any fun. Stick to the pc version.
Xbox owners looking for a genuinely tough, original game should check out Commandos 2.
In Commandos 2: Men of Courage, you're charged with commanding a small group of elite Allied operatives deep behind enemy lines during World War II. The direct approach isn't always the best approach, and at every turn, your commandos will be avoiding the patrols of German or Japanese forces. In this respect, Commandos 2 is quite a bit like its predecessor, the innovative 1998 real-time tactical combat game that mixed elements of stealth, action, and puzzle solving. Spanish developer Pyro Studios' sequel, first released for the PC last year, took the core gameplay of the original and added plenty of great new ideas, ultimately creating a highly challenging, sophisticated experience that was even better than the first. Arriving shortly after a less successful PlayStation 2 port, the new Xbox version retains more of the great qualities of the PC game. Though the core game was clearly designed with the PC in mind, the developers have done a commendable job both of translating mouse-and-keyboard controls to the Xbox's stock controller and of not sacrificing the finer points of Commandos 2's extremely challenging gameplay.
In Commandos 2, you'll have to do such things as rescue Allied soldiers, sabotage powerful sea vessels, assassinate key enemy officials, get your hands on important documents, and much more. The objectives are plentiful and varied, and the game will take you to a wide variety of real-world settings, but the overall number of missions in Commandos 2 seems small--there are only 10 main missions. You must play through them all sequentially, even though they aren't necessarily related to one another, and the relative length and difficulty of each mission doesn't necessarily increase from one mission to the next.
Make no mistake, though. By any standards, all these missions are huge, and you'll typically spend many hours trying to accomplish the laundry list of objectives in each one. There's also decent incentive to replay each mission, since a number of smaller bonus levels can be unlocked if you thoroughly explore the main missions. Additionally, the game's two higher difficulty settings noticeably affect the way enemy guards react, requiring you to take different paths to success. But before you can get into the main missions, you must first get through two "training" levels. These smaller missions drop you straight into enemy territory, forcing you to learn the intricacies of Commandos 2's complex gameplay the hard way. Unlike the original PC version, the Xbox version of Commandos 2 does offer a supplemental step-by-step tutorial that consists of a great many lessons that explain all the dozens of different types of actions available in the game. The tutorial takes a while to finish and still doesn't guarantee you'll have an easy time getting started with the actual game, but it's better than nothing.
The PC version of Commandos 2 features razor-sharp high-resolution graphics that look spectacular. The Xbox version captures much of the effect and fares better visually than the recent PS2 port. While perhaps that's to be expected, what's less apparent is that the subtle differences in the quality of the graphics of a game like Commandos 2 directly impacts how well it plays. The game's small but very well animated 3D characters are easier to spot onscreen on the Xbox than on the PS2, which makes a real difference. Even still, important details such as lockboxes or sniper posts can be difficult to notice, so you'll really need to keep your eyes peeled. You won't really mind doing so, since Commandos 2 looks very good. You'll appreciate details like the animated 3D portraits of all your squadmates and how everything in the game is shown exactly to scale. Gigantic Japanese bombers, aircraft carriers, Allied submarines, and German castles are just some of the many things you'll get to see. The Xbox version of Commandos 2 runs smoothly unlike the PS2 port, and its levels load quickly--an important point, since you'll invariably end up retrying each mission many times. The sound in Commandos 2 is about as impressive as the graphics. Your characters' responses are limited and will quickly grow old, but otherwise, the game's ambient effects are well done and its musical score is outstanding--it sounds like it's straight out of an action film. It's intense at times and suspenseful at times, and it helps set the tone for each individual mission.
The colorful cast of characters at your disposal comes mostly from the previous Commandos games and includes a powerful Green Beret, a deadly marine, a spy capable of disguising himself as the enemy, a sapper (demolitions expert), a mechanic who can commandeer enemy vehicles, a master sniper, a seductive secret agent, a fleet-footed thief, and even a bull terrier whose barking can distract your foes. You'll also join forces with Allied troops whom you can control in many of the missions. Each character is versatile and has a wide variety of skills. This gives you many strategic options during play, though the game's one puzzle element lies in the fact that you can't choose which commandos or starting equipment you'll bring into the missions--you'll just have to make do with what you get.
The gameplay demands extreme precision. As you approach each mission objective, you'll have to take note of all the enemy guards standing between you and victory. You can spend lots of time just examining every square inch of the map from your godlike isometric vantage point, observing enemy patrols and looking for openings or weaknesses. Mission objectives generally aren't time-sensitive, so you can afford to strategize at your leisure. And though you can take missions at your own pace, the situations always get very tense whenever you're preparing to strike. This constant buildup and release of tension is well maintained throughout the game.